Thursday, January 24, 2008

Duaner Sanchez Ready For 2008 Season

Duaner Sanchez's is nearly fully recovered from a gruesome shoulder injury suffered in a cab accident in 2006 and will be ready for spring training. All reports from Port St. Lucie, where Sanchez has been rehabbing this winter, have been positive. Sanchez has been throwing comfortably off of a mound and has touched 94 mph on the radar gun. Contrary to prior rumblings that Sanchez was out of shape, two eye witnesses told MetsBlog that Sanchez looks good and is throwing well.

Fantasy Impact

Before his injury, Sanchez was enjoying a dominant 2006 campaign which began with a 21 inning scoreless streak. He posted career highs in ERA (2.61), WHIP (1.21), wins (5) and holds (14) while striking out 44 batters in only 55 innings of work. A healthy Sanchez will be an integral part of a relatively thin Mets bullpen that should get a lot of work. Although he will more than likely start off pitching in the 7th inning, Sanchez should get plenty of work as a setup man as the season goes along.

Sanchez has good fantasy value in leagues that use the hold statistic, although he can contribute a bit in non-hold leagues by lowering a staff's ERA and WHIP. A healthy Sanchez who survives the 2008 season unscathed should register around 70-75 innings and 20+ holds easily. I project his ERA to be in the mid 2's while his WHIP might be higher than 2006 outputs as he returns to form after a layoff of over a year.
Managers in leagues that include holds should take a late round flier on Sanchez who appears to be under the radar as of now. He has the potential to finish 2008 as a top 15 middle reliever if healthy.

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